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How Often Should I Clean My PC? [Full Guide]

Learn about how often you should clean your PC and how you can prevent it from catching a lot of dust.

It is common to have dust cover up the insides of a computer case. What’s important is knowing the right time to clean your PC. This guide will help you figure out how often you should clean your PC, stretch the importance behind it, and give tips on keeping it cleaned for a more extended period.

Key Takeaways

  • It is essential to keep the PC clean as dust build-up can have an overall effect on the performance of the PC.
  • Your PC can face overheating issues if you do not clean it often, which may reduce the components’ lifespan.
  • Cleaning the PC occasionally can reward you with good performance and riddance from overheating issues.
  • You can use a compressed air can to blow off the dust covering your PC components.
  • Air filters, cleaner surroundings, and distance from pets can help keep your PC clean for longer.

How Often Should The PC Be Cleaned

CPU cleaning image in How often do I clean my PC?
How often should the PC be cleaned?

PCs are recommended to be cleaned every 3 to 6 months. Now, the duration may vary from place to place. If you live in a place with polluted air, your PC will likely start dust build-up within a couple of days after cleaning your PC.

On the other hand, if you live in a place with cleaner air, less dust, and other content, your PC will likely remain clean for a couple of months. It is still vital for a person to open up their computer case and check the components’ condition. Despite not having polluted air, you may still have unwanted substances that need to be removed for your PC components’ safety. 

Why Is It Important To Clean A PC Often?

How often should i clean my pc?
Dust build-up inside computer case.

Cleaning your PC is an essential task you need to carry out for its well-being. Yes, PCs need to be cleaned from time to time for the sake of them working the way they should. Not cleaning your PC causes a build-up of dust and debris, which ultimately affects its overall condition. Dust and debris build-up is always bad news for your PC.

Your PC can get damaged in unimaginable ways. Sometimes the damage it can cause can be beyond repair. Not only does it harm your components physically, but it also can snatch their ability to perform their assigned tasks. The damage will, of course, be a burden to your pocket and eventually can lead to expenses up to hundreds of dollars. Below we have listed what you can call symptoms of dust build-up.

PC Performance Is Affected

As soon as the dust build-up becomes unbearable for your PC, it will give you a poor performance. If you try to carry out a resource-intensive task, your PC will start to crawl. It will have a hard time processing all the tasks you are assigning it to perform.

If you are gaming, you will face a noticeable lag; if you’re trying to watch a movie on high resolution, it is likely to buffer. If you are trying to load a couple of tabs on a window simultaneously, they are likely to take much time to load up, and so on. This is how you know that your PC is failing to perform to its true potential, and the culprit behind this can be dust and debris building up and causing overheating issues.

Overheating Issues Occur

Now come the overheating issues. One of the biggest problems caused by dust build-up is overheating. Overheating is why your whole PC’s performance is affected in the first place. The dust collects in the PC fan bearings, over the processor, and other components.

This build-up makes it difficult for the fans to do their job of ventilation, and the heatsink has trouble radiating heat off the processor. The overheating causes your components to make an extra effort to keep up their speed of performing their task while also keeping their temperature at bay. In such situations, your PC may even crash mid-performance. Occurrences such as crashes must be taken as a warning sign, and you must take action to fix the problem immediately.

It Pollutes Its Surroundings

A very noticeable symptom of dust building up inside your computer case is polluted surroundings. As your PC heats up, the fans will try to take their working time up. This will result in the fan bringing the cool air inside the PC attracting dust in the air present in the surroundings.

You will notice the dust around your computer case collecting earlier than it usually does. You are advised to pay attention to such changes in your surroundings. Such changes can often signify something deadly being around your PC components.

The Lifespan Of The PC Is Affected

The harsh adverse effects of not cleaning your PC will affect the lifespan of your PC. If you do not clean your PC or clean it after a very long period, you will notice your PC components not making up to their average lifespan.

Now, you might reason the components dying for them being poor quality when it’s something as small as a lack of cleanliness around them. As mentioned above, the damage caused by dust and debris on the components is also physical. The components can handle all the harm to a limit until they decide to give up, resulting in a reduced lifespan of the PC.

Noticeable Changes After Cleaning PC

Now that you have learned about how often you should learn your PC, it is time to take a look at the noticeable changes you’ll see once you catch the habit of cleaning your PC from time to time.

Better Performance

You will see an improvement in the performance of your PC. It will be quick to respond to your assigned tasks, whether they are resource–intensive or not. The tabs you are trying to open in the browser will load up just in time, the games will run smoother and better than before, and you will face little to no buffering when trying to stream high-resolution videos.

Reduction In Overheating Issues

A sigh of relief! No more overheating issues that will be causing your fans to be noisy, and no more components burning up and affecting the overall performance of your PC. You would be free of worrying about your whole system being fried up. If you were facing crashes previously, chances are they will be gone now.

Lifespan Increased

This is something you will notice in the long term. When cleaned occasionally, your PC components will be free from damage caused by dust and debris build-up. Typically, the build-up acts like a slow poison to the components, but once you keep your components from this, they are likely to outlive the lifetime they would’ve had if they were not being cleaned occasionally.

Which Components Of The PC Should Be Cleaned Often?

Here is a list of essential components that must be in the list to be cleaned every once in a while. We will also guide you on how to clean them to make things easier for you.


The monitor is the primary output device of your PC. You can use an air compressor or its alternatives to clean the dust out of the input ports. Once the dust is blown away, you may use a damp cloth to wipe the monitor. Once wiped, the monitor will be all clean and free from dust.


Fans are a must to consider when cleaning your PC. They hold much dust as they are the ones that do all the air work in the first place. Again, you must use a compressed air can to blow away the top layer of dust. You can also check out our detailed guide on how to clean PC fans. We also talked about how you can clean your PC without using compressed air

How often should I clean my PC? using compressed air can.
Compressed air to clean the dust on the fans.

After the top layer of dust is blown away, you will be left with stubborn dust stuck on the fan blades. It is better to take out the fans so they can be cleaned from all sides. You can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol for extra stubborn dust, or a damp cloth will work fine. Make sure to be extra careful with the fan blades as they are prone to damage. Once the fans are clean, you may attach them back into their respectful place.


After you have opened the computer case, you should try to unscrew the motherboard from its place. Once the motherboard is out of its place, detach the heatsink. Compressed air can blow dust on the motherboard, its ports, and the heatsink. You can use a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol to wipe off the stubborn dust. Again, be super careful with the motherboard pins.

The slightest wrong contact can damage the pins. After cleaning, you may also put new thermal paste on the heatsink before re-attaching it back to the motherboard. You can follow our guide on ‘How To Clean Thermal Paste Off CPU?’ for more ease. Re-attach the motherboard back into its place.

A clean Motherboard
A clean Motherboard – Image Credits [Tech4Gamers]

Graphics Card

To clean the graphics card, you may again use compressed air can. Carefully make sure to blow off any dust that is covering the GPU slots and its heatsink. You may follow the same guide mentioned above to clean the GPU fans.

Graphics Card
A representation of a clean Graphics card – Image Credits [Tech4Gamers]


How often should i clean my PC with dusty PSU
Dust build-up on PSU.

You can clean the PSU using an air compressor. Set the correct pressure and keep it at a distance of at least 2 inches. You should blow the air into the holes already present on the PSU’s sides and through the fan. Ensure to keep blowing the dust off until none comes out of the PSU. Also read ‘PC Case: How To Clean Tempered Glass?’

How Do I Protect My PC From Catching Dust Soon?

Here are some tips you can keep in mind and act upon so that your PC does not catch dust sooner than it should.

Keep It Out Of Pets Reach

It’s not always dust but also pet fur. Yes, pet fur is as deadly as dust or even more. It will likely block the fans from spinning if it gets between them. Therefore, it is advised not to let your pets near your PC or be in the same room.

Get An Air Filter

Another great favor you can do for your PC is to get it an air filter. The air filter will prevent dust and debris from entering your computer case. This will be a great help if you live in a naturally dusty place. The air filter will act as a shield for your PC components and protect them from covering up in dust which will ultimately keep them safe from damage.

Choose A Suitable Place To Put The Computer Case

Again if you live in a naturally dusty and humid place, you are advised not to keep your computer case nearby a window or any place that is open to air from the outside directly. It would be best to keep your PC in a closed room, preferably with an AC; this will help your PC not get covered up in dust and not heat up quickly.

Clean Your Surroundings

Last but not least, even if you live in a place with lesser dust, you are advised to clean the surroundings of your PC. The air of the surroundings is what circulates inside your PC case. If you fail to clean the surroundings of your PC case, it is bound to get covered with dust whether you like it or not. Therefore, it is best that you save yourself from the hassle and make sure that you clean the place your PC lies in to protect it.


This was everything you needed to know about how often you should clean your PC. Someone who cares about their PC will ensure it is always free of any impurities. If you give your PC the care it needs, only then will it be able to provide you by giving you a good performance. You can not expect your PC to run at its full potential while not giving the slightest of your attention to its condition and how it is holding up from the inside. The lack of care can turn into quickly become a big expense. You must clean your PC from time to time as advised.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the alternative to an air compressor that can be used to clean a PC?

You can clean your PC without an air compressor. You can use a compressed air can, a microfiber cloth, and even a soft toothbrush or paintbrush to clean the dust off the components of your PC.

Why are fans so noisy when there is dust build-up?

The reason behind fans being noisy is that they have to put in extra effort to maintain the temperature inside the computer case as it becomes too high when all the components start to overheat.

Why is the dust so sticky on the PC components?

The reason why the dust is so sticky and stubborn is due to moisture and emission from vehicles that are present in the air. It causes the components to look like they are greasy.

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Sameed Hussain
Sameed Hussain
With a major in Computer Science, Sameed is a tech enthusiast who puts his passion for gadgets into words and creates informative blogs. From breaking the latest, most credible news to comparing different hardware to reviewing the best RAMs, motherboards, and graphics cards for your next build, Sameed has covered a wide spectrum of topics that have given him a special insight into every nook and cranny of the tech world.


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